she said, she said – d’ya wanna go for a ride?;
So the early bird allocation of tickets for T in the Park 2007 sold out in 70 minutes, and I know sombody who’s got hers already. (No, not me. Well, maybe.) I’ve left this update a bit late due to work pressures and the fact I’m coming down with a nasty cold (three days in a tent in the pissing rain will do that to you), and I have to confess that the temptation is there to say “Secondbest. Weekend. Ever. There was no ice cream” and leave it at that.
But no, I’m not going to do that to you.
I’d had such a stressful time at work that I wasn’t really looking forward to the weekend, and despite getting the acest present ever from the acest boy ever on Friday morning I still managed to pick a fight with my longsuffering sister before she came to pick me and my pink-haired favourite tent companion up. As for once we got there – I could whine about the rain, or joke about my sister’s mad skillz at finding random men to fetch, carry and put up tents; but it’s the bands you expect me to write about and the bands you’re going to get.
Saturday’s weather made the day a bit of a wash-out really and poor Bell X1 were plagued by technical problems that prevented them getting things off to a good start on the NME Stage. It’s a shame really, because the three songs they played were fantastic. After that it was off to some pokey little tent or other for Guillemots and Twilight Singers. The former were jawdropping – I’ve been dying to see them live, and they’re one of those bands whose live shows generally provide amazing reinterpretations of the songs you’ve grown to love rather than straightforward album plodders. “Trains To Brazil” for song of 2006, no question. It took me a while to get into Twilight Singers because they played a lot of stuff I didn’t know for too long – quite offputting as they’re sometimes one of those bands you need to make a real effort to appreciate but once you do… but then they launched into “Teenage Wristband” and suddenly, despite the rain, it was summer properly and I was ready to run off for a weekend of piracy and ice cream.
The rest of the day was a bit of a wash-out really. I couldn’t get near The Kooks, caught Giant Drag for three songs – Annie on as fine form as ever – before getting put off by all the snogging couples (it was funny that the fat, sunburned skinhead in front of me waited til after “You Fuck Like My Dad” to start eating his bird’s face like an ice cream cone really), and Bobby and I danced about in the mud a bit to a husky Alison Goldfrapp. We were back at camp and asleep fairly early, which was how I managed to be awake by half past midnight shivering and convinced I was going to die. It’s good to know there’s a friendly face nearby with waterproofs and vodka in such situations.
It’s Sunday you all want to know about of course – in my experience the second day of a festival is usually the best. Maybe because all the idiots are sleeping off their hangovers until late, maybe because you know you’re not going to have to spend another night in a tent and there’s a Doctor Who finale and a phone charger waiting at home for you – who knows? I have good memories of first bands on on Sunday mornings, and The Spinto Band were no exception. I’ve heard a couple of tracks and liked them well enough, but wasn’t sure what to expect. What I got was a bunch of blokes making kickass rock and roll and looking like they were having the best time ever. I’m sold.
I was a little worried how Regina Spektor would go down playing to a crowd not in on the secret – I’ve only ever seen her in tiny venues – but her set in the Pet Sounds Arena was one of the highlights of the weekend. Everybody just, I dunno, really dug it. And for once in my life, my inner indie snob loved the fact that everybody did, rather than sneering “I was there first”.
…next door somebody’s fucking to one of my songs…
Oh, and a very nice man gave me lots of white wine.
Which meant that by the time I ran across to the King Tut’s Tent for Jenny Lewis I was… okay, I was sozzled. Which didn’t take away from my enjoyment any, but if you were the guy standing in front of me I apologise profusely. Jenny and the girls looked amazing in their sparkly green dresses, Jenny’s cut particularly short so you could see her little black hot-pants when she danced. Among the set (including two new songs, one of which I’d already heard at the last Glasgow show) was her cover of “Handle With Care”, and I was convinced that Ben Gibbard was going to appear in the middle of it to sing his part from the album.
That he didn’t wasn’t a complete disappointment though, because it was when I got out that my phonecall from the PR company regarding my Death cab interview came through. One quick phone charge and dance about – yeah, on my own, whatever – to the awesomeness that is We Are Scientists later…
Okay. I’m not sure how much I should say about this, because I’m very conscious about coming across as the hyperactive groupie who managed to sneak backstage and never getting invited back. Probably best to save the more embarassing details for when I get the chance to catch up with the usual suspects. Let’s just say that who cares that I missed Dirty Pretty Things’ set – I’ve seen Didz and the oh-so-pretteh Carlos right up close!! as I wandered around Band City among the TopShop princesses in my three-days unwashed Glastonbury-style hippy chic. After a bit of nerve-calming backstage beer the interview itself, with Death Cab bassist Nick Harmer, went incredibly well – we could have chatted all afternoon.
I get to tell you about Ben though, don’t I? About the PR girls – all of whom knowing exactly how much it meant to me – introducing me, about me squeaking, “I know who you are!!” like a ten-year=old girl as I shook his hand? I was wearing my Sleater-Kinney t-shirt, and he asked me if I’d heard about the break-up to which I replied, “Yes, that’s why you’re my favourite band now!” and we chatted a little about Portland and about the last Glasgow show before they took him away from me and I sat on the grass outside the T-Break Tent as Fi’s Dykeenies played – they’re ace by the way – calling everybody I could think of. Not that anybody answered!!
Paolo Nutini was a surprising highlight of the festival for me, espcially when you consider I had actually been planning to catch a bit of the Strokes. With this gorgeous, sensual voice that belies his nineteen years he played a set that swung from the rocking “Jenny Don’t Be Hasty” to “These Streets”, a tender acoustic tribute to our mutual town of birth; and the crowd loved it.
There was only one band left to see – none other than my very own Death Cab For Cutie. I headed down early, to get a good spot, but as Zero 7 had been pulled from the bill (they got stuck in Ireland) I ended up missing the first song. I wriggled as close to the front as I possibly could though, with another girl, and… wow. Just wow. The festival setting made for a very different experience to March’s Barrowlands gig (there wasn’t a giant Kodak beach ball bouncing about the crowd then for starters) but it was one I thoroughly enjoyed, even with a bellowing crowd singing along to the swoonsome “I Will Follow You Into The Dark”.
And I got my song again, the one about “doing bad things in the backseat of cars”, all twenty minutes of it.
The PR girls were hanging back as I left, and laughing at the light in my eyes – although they were obviously just as moved. “Sometimes I love my job,” said one, who’d never seen them before.
“I love your job too,” I said.
Oh, and then there was the small matter of my other national team winning the World Cup. Which really was the sprinkles on the raspberry sauce of a very, very lovely day.
Guestlisted for Pipettes tonight, I have the best friends ever Today I am rocking the pirate look in a new polka-dotted neckscarf, but miniskirts are hardly appropriate seafaring wear.
Top five surreal festival experiences (in no particular order):
1. Applying a temporary tattoo to a middle-aged woman’s breast with a wet wipe while her daughter looked on in horror;
2. Starting a Bon Jovi singalong;
3. Getting two guys to snog as they walked past our tent on Friday night;
4. Roberta doing the robot dance in the ceilidh tent;
5. Hearing security using a megaphone to order these guys to stop using the wall as a toilet as I queued to get in with some fellow ex-Scummerfield girls on Sunday. He was ignored.
Music blog round-up!
As the US prepares for the release of Waterloo to Anywhere, GloNo comments on What Became of the Likely Lads. It’s a really well-written article, though you’ll probably disagree with most of it. Yes, Libertines fans tend to be up their own arses when it comes to canonising that band. But what the hell, I’m one of them.
The Guardian on Syd Barrett’s death. Now Pink Floyd were one of those bands I missed out on during my musical discovery phase – and I can’t say I have any intention of going back and rectifying this – but I can appreciate the death of a legend, even if he wasn’t mine.
Another new Mountain Goats track courtesy of YANP. I’m scared.
And finally, everybody’s at it – Weezer announce a hiatus.
Edited later to add! Allmusic presents A Case Against Sufjan Stevens. Meh. (via GloNo)
PS I know the layout’s screwy again, it’s the last.fm plugin and there’s nothing I can do about it when I’m not at home playing songs with short titles. Hopefully Our Nicky will sort it out for me when she does the new layout, because she’s ace like that.